[ey-gret, ey-gret]

Aigrette (from the French for egret, or lesser white heron), the tufted crest, or head-plumes of the egret, used for adorning a woman's head-dress, the term being also given to any similar ornament, in gems. Aigrettes, studded with diamonds and rubies also decorated the turbans of Ottoman sultans or the ceremonial chamfron of their horses. Several of these aigrettes are on display in the Treasury of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

An aigrette is also worn by certain ranks of officers in the French army.

By analogy the word is used in various sciences for feathery excrescences of like appearance, as for the tufts on the heads of insects, the feathery down of the dandelion, the luminous rays at the end of electrified bodies, or the luminous rays seen in solar eclipses, diverging from, the moon's edge.

The 61.50 carat (12.3 g) whiskey-coloured diamond, "The Eye of the Tiger", was mounted by Cartier in a turban aigrette for the Jam Saheb or Maharajah of Nawanagar in 1934

A aigrette is also a type of fritter made of batter in an elongated shape, which is deep fried. The name means plume. (taken from The Marshall Cavendish handbook of Good Cooking) See also French submarines of the Aigrette class.


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